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NEW YORK, N. Y., 1C011 



WE BEREAVED 



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WE BEREAVED 

By 

HELEN KELLER 

n 



LESLIE FULENWIDER, INC. 
PUBLISHERS NEW YORK 



Copyright, 1929, by 
Leslie Fulenwider, Inc. 



PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 



Suffering and death are the 
great teachers of mankind. 



PREFACE 



I have received many letters from peo- 
ple stricken with grief, and I have always 
felt poignantly my helplessness before 
their sorrow. My heart yearns to speak the 
word that would soothe their anguish, 
but how futile are words in the ears of 
those who mourn. 

I can only take their hands in mine and 
pray that the love and sympathy in my 
heart may overflow into theirs. I too have 
loved and lost, I too must often fight hard 
to keep a steadfast faith. When I fail to 
hear the Divine Voice, grief overwhelms 
me, my faith wavers, but I must not let it 
go for without faith there would be no 
light in all the world. 

Faith lifts up shining arms and points 
to a happier world where our loved ones 
[vii] 



PREFACE 

await us. Faith in immortality broadens 
the boundaries of our endeavors and 
makes us feel that we have a part in God's 
plan of good. It is a staff in our gropings, 
a benign cup of encouragement. 

When all about us is dark we have it 
in our power to lift on high the torch of 
faith whose beams shall sustain us until 
the joy of perfect light dawns upon our 
mortal day. 

Helen Keller. 

Forest Hilts, 
New York. 



[ viii ] 



WE BEREAVED 



We bereaved are not alone. We belong 
to the largest company in all the world — 
the company of those who have known 
suffering. When it seems that our sorrow 
is too great to be borne, let us think of the 
great family of the heavy-hearted into 
which our grief has given us entrance, 
and, inevitably, we will feel about us their 
arms, their sympathy, their under- 
standing. 

# # # 

Believe, when you are most unhappy, 
that there is something for you to do in 
the world. So long as you can sweeten an- 
other's pain, life is not in vain. 

[ 1 ] 



WE BEREAVED 

What we have once enjoyed we can 
never lose. A sunset, a mountain bathed 
in moonlight, the ocean in calm and in 
storm — we see these, love their beauty, 
hold the vision to our hearts. All that we 
love deeply becomes a part of us. Our be- 
loved ones are no more lost to us when 
they die than if they were still laughing 
and loving and working and playing at 
our side. Truly, life is overlord of Death 
and Love can never lose its own. 

# # # 

Vainly the tortured soul gropes in 
darkness for a Reason. Bereavement has 
come; life is lonely and bitter, and almost 
too terrible to be endured. Abraham Lin- 
coln, when his little son died in his arms, 
said: "The Almighty has His own pur- 
poses/' 

[ 2 ] 



WE BEREAVED 

"Those who struggle can never learn 
to float; they must relinquish themselves 
utterly to the mercy of the water, relax 
every muscle, be trustful of the element to 
which they give themselves/' Thus said 
a teacher of swimming to his pupils* It is 
so with Eternal Love. In times of trouble 
if we resist and beat against the waves of 
misfortune we sink and are swallowed up 
in darkness unutterable. But if we trust, 
and if we relinquish our own will, and 
yield to the Divine will, then we find that 
we are afloat on a buoyant sea of peace 
and under us are the everlasting arms* 



# # # 



New sorrows teach new courage. Time 
makes the bitterest pain to "blossom like 
Aaron's rod with flowers/' 
[3] 



WE BEREAVED 

It is possible to diminish suffering by 
resolutely drawing sweetness from the 
memory of past happiness. Montaigne 
said: "I have a peculiar method of my 
own; I pass over my time when it is ill 
and uneasy, but when it is good I shall 
not pass it over/' Life would be happier 
for all of us if we hurried over the ill 
stretches and lingered long upon the good. 

# # * 

Death comes to those we love, and it 
seems impossible that in the face of our 
dark grief, the sun should shine, birds 
should sing, men and women should go 
on laughing and living, and treading all 
the multitudinous sunny paths of normal 
life. But, before grief came upon us, we 
lived and laughed while others sorrowed, 
and hard as it is to believe, we shall live 
and laugh again. For that is the way of 
life. 

[4] 



WE BEREAVED 

"Tomorrow!" What possibilities there 
are in that word. No matter how discour- 
aging today, how gloomy with dark 
clouds, with terrors and illness and death, 
there's always Tomorrow, with its 
promise of better things. Let us think then 
of Death as but one more tomorrow, filled 
with infinite promise and fulfillment. 

# # # 

On these chill autumn days we wander 
along the highroads and byways, or 
through the God-painted forests. We re- 
turn at last, cold and weary, to our own 
home, and find warmth and comfort be- 
fore a blazing fire on our own hearth. So 
in life, we wander until we are cold and 
weary, and at last find warmth and rest 
before the peacefully glowing flame of 
Eternity, for: Death is the hearthstone of 
Life. 

[5] 



WE BEREAVED 

Diogenes tells us that when Zeno was 
asked what a friend was, he answered: 
"Another V* Truly, a friend is another 
self. When he dies, it seems that we have 
died as well, but, conversely, the friend 
who is our "other I" still lives in us, and 
in living nobly we are continuing his life 
here. 

# # # 



It is necessary for the endurableness of 
life that we should believe that the un- 
certainty, the darkness in which we are 
struggling, shall one day be illumined 
by the light of solution; and even now 
we possess signs and traces of the knowl- 
edge which shall come when we see that 
Light face to face. 

[6] 



WE BEREAVED 

In our excess of grief and bitterness, we 
feel that the hand of God is against us* 
We look round the happy circle of our 
friends and it seems to us that we are the 
only ones bereaved; the only ones to 
whom has come this terrible emptiness, 
this dark void of loneliness. When this 
thought overwhelms us, it is well to re- 
member that we are not alone in our 
sorrow, that 

4 'There is no flock, however watched and 
tended, 
But one dead lamb is there. 
There is no fireside, howsoe'r defended, 
But has one vacant chair/' 

* * * 

In the Valley of the Shadow God's 
Love still lights the way. Though my eyes 
be blind with tears, I clasp God's guiding 
Hand, knowing that He is Lord of the 
night as of the day. 

[7] 



WE BEREAVED 

In the first dark hours of our grief there 
is no comfort in all the world for us* The 
anxious efforts of our friends to console 
us seem an intrusion, "Leave us alone," 
we cry in our hearts; "leave us alone with 
our sorrow. That is the only precious 
thing left to us/' But when our friends 
depart how quickly we change, how we 
creep to the side of some trusted loved one 
and reach out wistful hands for affection 
and understanding. Life is like that. Be- 
reaved though we are, we are not ghosts, 
but living, breathing human beings, vi- 
brant and eager for contact with our kind. 
And that is as it should be. God has taken 
away the beloved and left us here for some 
purpose. There is work to be done and 
people to be loved and helped. No normal 
human being can live with shadows. 

# # # 

It is necessary to pass through deep 
waters to reach the Shore of Fulfillment. 



[8] 



WE BEREAVED 

"Our friend and we were invited 
abroad on a party of pleasure, which is to 
last forever. His chair was ready first, and 
he has gone before us. We could not all 
conveniently start together; and why 
should you and I be grieved at this, since 
we are soon to follow, and know where 
to find him." Benjamin Franklin wrote 
these words concerning death, and they 
seem to me very beautifuL 

# * * 

We invite needless suffering when we 
entertain an exaggerated idea of our own 
suffering. Why should we be spared the 
chastening rod which all mortals pass 
under? Instead of comparing our lot with 
that of those who are more fortunate than 
we are, we should compare it with the lot 
of the great majority of our fellowmen. 
It then appears that we are among the 
privileged. 

[9] 



WE BEREAVED 

A little boat with sails like snowy 
wings sailed out of the harbor. The sea 
was gray and menacing, the sky was 
darkened by threatening clouds. "It will 
be an evil day/' said those who beheld 
the little ship and its going. "See how 
dark it is!" But the little ship sailed on, 
and there, in the open sea, suddenly it 
passed the region of storm, and the sun 
beamed brightly upon its sails, turning 
them to silver. And all about the little 
ship flowed waters that were blue and 
gold, with dancing lights. So the little 
spirit which departs in darkness amid 
sighs and tears and regrettings, finds, 
despite all the terrors of those who stay 
behind, its haven of sunshine and joy* 

# # # 

It is not so wretched to suffer loss as 
not to be capable of enduring it. 
[ 10] 



WE BEREAVED 

Our beloved ones have not "gone to a 
far country/' it is only the veil of sense 
that separates them from us, and even that 
veil grows thin when our thoughts reach 
out to them. 

* * * 

"There's so little I can say/' This is 
often said in apology by friends. If they 
but knew that any words — the most beau- 
tiful — are an intrusion at such a time, and 
that the truest sympathy comes with the 
warm close handclasp. 

% # # 

He who travels the hazardous road of 
misfortune courageously, leaves it strewn 
with sweet flowers of consolation for 
others. 

tin 



WE BEREAVED 

When I was a young girl at college I 
wrote my creed thus: "I believe in God, I 
believe in Man, I believe in the power of 
the spirit, I believe it is a sacred duty to 
encourage ourselves and others; to hold 
the tongue from any unhappy word 
against God's world, because no man has 
any right to complain of a universe which 
God made good, and which thousands of 
men have striven to keep good/' It is 
many years since I wrote these words, and 
I have suffered many a bereavement and 
many a sorrow, but I see no reason to 
change my creed. Any human being who 
believes in God, in Man, and in the spirit 
is fundamentally, I think, an optimist. No 
matter what pain comes to him, he knows 
that good is the dominant power of the 
universe and feels himself surrounded by 
it and by God's love* 



[12] 



WE BEREAVED 

"What shall I do with all the hours and 
days that must be lived ere I see thy face 
again V So we mourn in our hearts as the 
empty hours, days, and years stretch 
before us darkly. But in the very nature 
of things life is not desolate. We must 
eat and sleep and find for ourselves a 
living. Surely and inevitably life makes 
its demands upon us. No man is left alone 
with his grief for long. Gradually the 
little joys come creeping in, and though 
the lost dear one is not forgotten, the days 
and years until he is once more found are 
never empty, but vital and full of en- 
deavor* 

* * # 

Is there not comfort for us in the 
thought that our departed dear ones have 
entered a broader field of usefulness than 
was possible for them here on earth? 
[ 13 ] 



WE BEREAVED 

Life without faith is uneasy, timorous, 
and wholly spent in running away from 
misfortunes which are in the nature of 
things inescapable. 

* * * 

My friend has long since gone into the 
Light; but his presence, loved and fa- 
miliar, walks noiseless by my side, his 
guiding hand in mine. 

# # # 

There is a Christmas story of a be- 
reaved mother whose tears fell so long, 
they dimmed the candle of joy her little 
one held in his hand. Let us resolve that 
our grief shall not cast a shadow upon the 
happiness of our loved ones* 
[ H ] 



WE BEREAVED 

Maria Mitchell, America's first woman 
astronomer, wrote in her diary on De- 
cember 26, 1854: "We know a few things 
which were once hidden, and being known 
they seem easy, but there are the flashing 
of the Northern Lights; there are the star- 
tling comets whose use is all unknown; 
there are the bright and flickering variable 
stars, and the meteoric showers — for all of 
these the reasons are as clear as for the suc- 
cession of day and night; they lie just be- 
yond the daily mist of our minds, but our 
eyes have not yet pierced through it." So 
I think it is with pain and separation. The 
reasons for them are as clear as the reasons 
for the succession of day and night, but 
our spiritual eyes have not yet pierced the 
mist which is upon us. 

# # # 

The more we dwell on the happy state 
of our dear departed ones, the closer we 
shall be to them. 

[ 15] 



WE BEREAVED 

Sometimes it is well not to think. The 
mind mills over and over again its eternal 
problems of Why and When and Where. 
"Why" am I made thus to suffer? 
"When" shall I see my dear one again? 
"Where" is he, now that he is lost to me? 
It is well to remember at such a time with 
Cardinal Newman: "It is thy very energy 
of thought which keeps thee from thy 
God." Cease thinking, questioning, won- 
dering; relax on the bosom of faith, and 
faith will not betray you* 



* # * 



It is because our loved ones are in the 
Sun, and we in the shadow, that we do 
not see each other. 

[16] 



WE BEREAVED 

If your faith burns strong and bright, 
others will light their candle at it. 

# # # 

All the aeons and aeons of time before 
we were born, before the spirit awoke to 
its present consciousness — where were we 
then? All the aeons and aeons of time after 
we are dead, after the spirit has sunk again 
to sleep from its present consciousness, 
where then shall we be? Vain questions; 
vain wondering. But if the spirit is eternal, 
we have no more reason to dread the fu- 
ture of the spirit than to shudder at its 
past. Rather, it is better to consider this, 
our life, merely as "a gleam of time be- 
tween two Eternities/' and to believe that 
most of the truth, most of the beauty, 
most of the real splendor and fulfillment 
lies rather in those eternities than in the 
here-and-now. 

[ 17] 



WE BEREAVED 

There is beauty in Benjamin Franklin's 
self -written epitaph. Here it is: 

"The body of Benjamin Franklin, 
Printer, (like the cover of an old book, its 
contents torn out and stripped of its let- 
tering and gilding) lies here, food for 
worms. Yet the work itself shall not be 
lost, for it will (as he believes) appear 
once more in a new and more beautiful 
Edition, corrected and amended by the 
Author/' 

# # # 

They tell me that a flash of lightning 
reveals everything within the range of 
vision clearly for an instant Death is the 
penetrating flash that illumines the spirit- 
world which material existence veils from 
us in our happier hours, 
[18] 



WE BEREAVED 

"God is, and all is well/* If only we 
could — and would — remember this in 
time of sorrow and bereavement, we 
would find the peace that passeth under- 
standing. 

# * # 



Surely we would not weep if some be- 
loved friend had the good fortune to move 
from a humble and uncomfortable house 
to a mansion into which the sunlight 
streamed, and whose grounds are a never- 
ending maze of beauty and wonder and 
delight* We would say that that was a for- 
tunate friend, and, a bit wistfully, we 
would look forward to the time when we 
too might leave the burden of our daily 
tasks and join him in his house of beauty 
and light* 

[19] 



WE BEREAVED 

I am blind and have never seen a rain- 
bow, but I have been told of its beauty. 
I know that its beauty is always broken 
and incomplete. Never does it stretch 
across the heavens in full perfection. So 
it is with all things as we know them here 
below. Life itself is as imperfect and 
broken for everyone of us as the span of 
a rainbow. Not until we have taken the 
step from life into Eternity, shall we un- 
derstand the meaning of Browning's 
words: "On the earth, the broken arc; 
in heaven, a perfect round/' 

# # # 

Remember that in the Country where 
your loved ones have gone, the things that 
were impossible here become glorious 
realities. 

[20] 



WE BEREAVED 

Back in the seventeenth century, 
Thomas Fuller wrote: "He was one of 
lean body and visage, as if his eager soul, 
biting for anger at the clog of his body, 
desired to fret a passage through it/' And 
so it is with us. We mourn, when they are 
gone, for that lost "clog of a body" as 
though that were the great, the vital, the 
beautiful thing, forgetting that the eager 
soul liberated now, has come into its own 
as gloriously as a man long shackled in a 
prison cell, when once again he walks 
free in God's glorious sunshine. 

• * 



As the fruit is the essence of the tree, so 
sympathy is the essence distilled from 
pain. 

[21 ] 



WE BEREAVED 

In the presence of suffering and death 
we cry in the bitterness of our hearts, 
"Why cannot we cast it out?" Listen, ye 
that mourn, and ye shall hear the wonder- 
ful answer from Matthew 17:20: "Be- 
cause of your unbelief: for verily I say 
unto you, if ye have faith as a grain of 
mustard seed, ye shall say unto this moun- 
tain, Remove hence to yonder place; and 
it shall remove; and nothing shall be im- 
possible unto you/' 



* * * 



Sorrow is like the quieting caress of the 
dark. It veils the too glaring light of ma- 
terial day, and lets our minds behold the 
spiritual stars the sun hid from us. 
[22] 



WE BEREAVED 

When one door of happiness closes, an- 
other opens; but often we look so long 
at the closed door that we do not see the 
one which has been opened for us* 

# # # 



This from Plutarch: "Diogenes, the 
cynic, when, a little before death, he fell 
into a slumber, and his physician rousing 
him out of it asking whether anything 
ailed him, answered: 'Nothing, sir; only 
one brother anticipates another: Sleep 
before Death/ " It is well to look upon 
Death in this friendly, everyday way. 
Sleep we welcome every night, knowing 
from experience that there is nothing to 
fear. Then why should we fear the com- 
ing of our other Brother — Death? 
[ 23 ] 



WE BEREAVED 

A father, who had lost a beloved child, 
could not bear the companionship of his 
fellowmen, and turned to wood and field 
for solace accompanied only by his dog. 
His friends attempted to dissuade him 
from this course, but they were wrong. 
Gradually healing came to his spirit, 
breathed to him in silent understanding 
of trees, of grass, of sky, of his faithful 
canine friend. Thus we are taught that 
each of us who are in pain and sorrow 
must seek consolation after his own man- 
ner, and seeking, shall find it. 

# # # 



Death cannot separate those who truly 
love. Each lives in the other s mind and 
speech. 

[24] 



WE BEREAVED 

"It lies around us like a cloud, 
A world we do not see; 
Yet the sweet closing of an eye, 
May bring us there to be/' 

Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of 
"Uncle Tom's Cabin/' had a beautiful 
faith in the after-life. She wrote the above 
lines and believed them. A sweet sincerity, 
a child-like belief, rings in every word. 



* # # 



Earth-life cannot appease the soul's 
hunger. It is Death that flings wide the 
portals of eternal life. Released by death, 
the soul sheds its drab covering to don the 
radiant robe of immortality. 

[ 25 ] 



WE BEREAVED 

Never should the evening of life, any 
more than the evening of a single day, 
be thought of with fear. For evening is a 
time for home-coming, and of peace. We 
should say, as Tagore said: "The evening 
sky to me is like a window, and a lighted 
lamp, and a waiting behind it." "A 
lighted lamp and a waiting behind it" — 
there is a comforting, a beautiful certainty 
and serenity in those words. 

# # # 

There are moments when the veil be- 
tween us and the spiritual world lifts, and 
we behold our Heavenly home in sudden 
light. The open door, the smiling faces 
of our dear ones, birds twittering in the 
trees, the sweet keen smell of grass and 
flowers, the sound of happy voices — all 
yield their delight once more. 

[26] 



WE BEREAVED 

"Bon voyage/' call those who stay be- 
hind, to their friends who are departing 
for foreign lands. Cheerfully they face the 
separation as the water widens between 
them and those they love. Why can it 
not be just so when those whom we love 
have gone upon that last long voyage of 
death? The answer will be: "Because this 
is a parting for all eternity. There is no 
returning from the country to which these 
lost dear ones have turned their faces/' 
Only those who have faith know the 
truth: "for those who live with God there 
is no last meeting/' 

* * * 

I believe in the goodness of life, in the 
recreative power of the spirit, in the en- 
nobling possibilities of suffering. 
[27] 



WE BEREAVED 

It is an encouraging thought that how- 
ever difficult life may be, we are not living 
it alone, that above and beneath and 
around us are the resources of the Eternal 
Spirit* 

# # # 



"Drawing near her death, she sent most 
pious thoughts as harbingers to heaven; 
and her soul saw a glimpse of happiness 
through the chinks of her sickness-broken 
body/' So said Thomas Fuller in his "Life 
of Monica/' Is it not selfish and cruel to 
want to keep with us those who suffer? 
For, after all, their worn bodies are but 
as prison cells, through which they see 
wistfully and longingly, as did Monica, 
"a glimpse of happiness/' 
[ 28 ] 



WE BEREAVED 

It is a day bright with sunshine. Then, 
from somewhere, unexpected, comes a veil 
of mist and then another, until the face 
of the sun is hid from us, and all is dark 
before our eyes. Yet we never doubt for 
a moment the sun is still there. Some poet 
has said that Life itself is "A wisp of fog 
between us and the sun/* I think that is 
true; I think that we — that the spirit-part 
of us — -is eternal, that the Sun of true love 
and happiness is eternal, and that life, 
with its hurry, its bustle, its materialism, 
comes between us and the Sun, like a wisp 
of fog, a veiling cloud* 

# # # 

Death is not the end. "In our embers is 
something that doth live that nature yet 
remembers/' 

[29] 



WE BEREAVED 

Experiencing a great sorrow is like en- 
tering a cave. We are overwhelmed by the 
darkness, the loneliness, the homesickness. 
Sad thoughts, like bats, flutter about us in 
the gloom. We feel that there is no escape 
from the prison-house of pain. But God in 
His Loving-kindness has set on the invis- 
ible wall the Lamp of Faith — whose 
beams shall guide us back to the sunlit 
world where work and friends and service 
await us. 

* * # 



"From the voiceless lips of the unreply- 
ing dead there comes no word, but in the 
night of Death, Hope sees a star and lis- 
tening love can hear the rustling of a 
wing/' Thus spoke Robert G. Ingersoll, 
the agnostic, at his brother's grave. 
[ 30 ] 



WE BEREAVED 

A brave faith is the only bridge over 
which the feet of our loved ones may 
cross to us* 

* * * 



Robbed of joy, of courage, of the very 
desire to live, the newly-bereaved fre- 
quently avoids companionship, feeling 
himself so limp with misery and so empty 
of vitality that he is ill suited for human 
contacts- And yet no one is so bereaved, 
so miserable, that he cannot find someone 
else to succor, someone who needs friend- 
ship, understanding, and courage more 
than he. The unselfish effort to bring 
cheer to others will be the beginning of a 
happier life for ourselves. 

[31] 



WE BEREAVED 

'Tear/* it has been said, "can only be 
cured by vision/' Especially is this true 
of the fear of death. We fear death for 
ourselves and for those who are dear to 
us. Could we but trust to that Inner 
Vision which is of the spirit, we would 
know that there is nothing to fear — that 
Eternal goodness and love enfolds us in 
Death as in Life. 



* * * 



We think too much of the darkness 
of night and too little of the stars that 
shine in it. So with Death; we think too 
much of its blackness, and too little of 
the bright star of Immortality which robs 
it of its terrors* 

[32] 



WE BEREAVED 

Often the thoughts of great men run 
parallel. Robert Louis Stevenson says: 
"To believe in immortality is one thing, 
but it is first needful to believe in life/' 
And Henry Van Dyke says: "There is 
only one way to get ready for immortal- 
ity, and that is to love this life, and live 
it as bravely and faithfully and cheerfully 
as we can/' We should not mourn for 
those who have lived nobly, but should 
look upon their having thus lived as the 
most splendid and beautiful Preparation 
for the Life into which they have now 
entered. 

• * * 

Often the death of a beloved friend 
educates us. The only way to match our 
strength with Death is to believe that life 
is eternal. 

[33] 



WE BEREAVED 

''Everybody's lonesome/'* That was the 
title of a story once read to me. How true 
it is! Everyone, no matter how surrounded 
by friends and loved ones, has periods of 
loneliness; loneliness for he knows not 
what. We, the living, should not think of 
the dead as lonely because if they could 
speak to us, they would say: "Do not 
weep for me, Earth was not my true coun- 
try, I was an alien there; I am now at 
home where everyone comes in his turn/' 

# # # 

Life is everlasting, and the living spirit 
moves always upward toward the road 
to perfection. Life on earth is only one 
phase of the universal life. Then why are 
we terrified by Death which is only a 
milepost on the journey toward perfect 
and eternal life? 

[34] 



WE BEREAVED 

"And God shall wipe away all tears 
from their eyes; and there shall be no 
more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, 
neither shall there be any more pain, for 
the former things are passed away/' In 
Revelation 21:4 come these words, and to 
the lonely and bereft they are as cool rain 
falling on parched flowers. 

# # # 

They are wise who perceive that Spirit 
is stronger than Material force— thought 
rules the world. Confronted by the seem- 
ing fact of material death we can learn to 
see that the surviving spirit is stronger 
than the force that has taken from us the 
body of our loved one. As long as our 
dear one lives in our thought he is not 
dead. 

[35] 



WE BEREAVED 

Rebellion, anguish, doubt ; the unceas- 
ing questioning as to why this sorrow had 
to come, and what the future holds of 
reunion and joy and love! If only we 
would remember that "whatsoever there 
is to know, that shall we know some 
day/* how soothed and happy we should 
be. Those who have gone before already 
know and are waiting behind the veil of 
Eternity, to whisper to us, when we join 
them, the beautiful secret of Life and 
Death. 

» * * 

The spiritual world enfolds in its ample 
bosom all the visible world. Our earth- 
home is merely a perceptible point. Here 
we play with shadows; there we live the 
reality. 

[ 36 ] 



WE BEREAVED 

Hourly, daily, we rebel against pain. 
It seems that we, the bereaved, are the 
most deeply afflicted of all God's children. 
We wonder why this anguish has come to 
us, and unceasingly we weep. But if we 
only have the strength to bear our sorrow, 
we will find in the end that by it we are 
spiritually ennobled; that ' pain is no evil 
unless it conquers us/' 

* # # 

Often when the heart is torn with sor- 
row, spiritually we wander like a traveler 
lost in a deep wood. We grow frightened, 
lose all sense of direction, batter ourselves 
against trees and rocks in our attempt to 
find a path. All the while there is a path — 
the path of Faith — that leads straight out 
of the dense tangle of our difficulties into 
the open road we are seeking. 

[ 37 ] 



WE BEREAVED 

Let us not weep for those who have 
gone away when their lives were at full 
bloom and beauty* Who are we that we 
should mourn them and wish them back? 
Life at its every stage is good, but who 
shall say whether those who die in the 
splendor of their prime are not fortunate 
to have known no abatement, no dulling 
of the flame by ash, no slow fading of 
life's perfect flower. 



nr ^ ^ 



Doubt not that thy dear one lives im- 
mortally in Paradise, with bright angels 
for companions and high tasks for accom- 
plishment. 

[38] 



WE BEREAVED 

Spring and autumn ; seedtime and har- 
vest; rain and sun; winter s cold and sum- 
mer s heat — everything changes. Observ- 
ing the transience of all things, why 
should we dwell on the ultimateness of 
death? Why should we not face life and 
death alike, unafraid? 



# # # 



For three things I thank God every 
day of my life — that he has vouchsafed 
me knowledge of His Works, deep thanks 
that He has set in my darkness the lamp 
of faith, deep, deepest thanks that I have 
another life to look forward to — a life 
joyous with light and flowers and heav- 
enly song* 

[ 39 ] 



HV2335 Keller, Helen Adams. Rc.l 
K gfl WE BEREAVED. 
uJ3S (1929) 



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